Vietnam Team Journal

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Memories of a Vietnam Volunteer

Read a recent volunteer's reflections on the value and fun of volunteering in Hanoi:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Student's Perspective of English Lessons

Dear Pam,

I was so happy to be with you yesterday. At first, I was very nervous, but then, I was absolutely free. All was very wonderful. I planned to take you to some beauty spots but those places you had been before. Its only thing I felt "what a pity!". although I was with you in short time but I  really felt happy. Its the first time I've meet a foreigner and I'm sure Its the best experience I've ever had. Thanks for your kind of you.Without your help, I wouldn't have been self-confident.  I'm grateful more than I can say.  I hope we'll meet each other in another day.  Thanks a lot.  Your student,

(pictured:  Trang and Global Volunteers Team Leader Pam Cromer)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One of our volunteers currently in Vietnam was eager to share a slice of his service program experience:

Today we had a special breakfast. Don had asked about the meal, the name of
which I can't recall. Mr. Cuoung, the hotel manager made special
preparations to provide us with the meal. I loved it. The Vietnamese food
seems to agree with me. As a diabetic, I test my blood sugar every day, and
the results are very good. I can report my blood glucose levels have been
quite normal the last several days. Brett is happy.

The classes today is were especially fun. Tracy Carsten and Brett Davidson
have been using tongue twisters as fun ways to practice pronunciation. The
students turned the tables on us and challenged us with a Vietnamese tongue

This was the first day the team had to get back to the hotel without Miss
Pam. We had no problem.

In the evening we attended the water puppet show, a traditional art form in
Vietnam. It was a short 45 minute show, but quite delightful.

We had dinner at the 6 on Sixteen restaurant and had food from the Sapa
region of Vietnam.

Thought of the day: "It's fun to have fun but you have to know how." Dr.

- Brett

Friday, March 16, 2012

"No matter where you go, there you are!"

Our final day at school - the children are as energetic and fun as ever.  We teach a full load with Ms Vananh and Ms Lan.  Bittersweet goodbyes.  We all had the kids sign our yearbooks and they surrounded us, clamoring to have their notebooks signed by us.

Lovely YouTube songs and dances....lots of Hangman games!  

Lunch at school and coffee at Boong Cafe with Bob, Jack and Mr. Quy.  Barb's attempts to order a large mug of coffee resulted in  "iced coffee."  But it was good. 

Dinner at Dinh Lang Thuy Ta Restaurant - beautiful lakeside atmosphere, charming waiter, but disappointing food. 

But the company was good!  And for the first time ever, I tried eel soup!  After dinner, Bob and I relaxed in our room and did a little packing.

To Bob, Jack and David:  Thank you for sharing your talents, compassion and sense of humor for these past two weeks with the people of Hanoi!  You are great team players!

- Barb

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Day

Breakfast, journal reading and off to school.  First class was with Ms Chinh.  We have only had a couple of classes with her.  She is the third elementary English teacher. We had to make sure we got a photo with her. We missed her yesterday.

One more class with Ms. Lan before lunch.  David got to play keep-away soccer with the high school kids before lunch. He seemed to enjoy getting some exercise and the kids.

After lunch we went book shopping several blocks to the east.  All the books were in Vietnamese, but David found two to purchase.

One more class with Ms. Lan and off to another bookstore at the south end of the lake.  We saw it this morning on the way to school and we each purchased several English books for the school. 

For dinner, we planned to eat at the New Day Cafe.  We heard from some Russian tourists that it was very good.  One problem in Hanoi is they do not have no-smoking sections.  Smoking and dining just does not mix.  So we went across the street to the 69 Bar/Restaurant and had a very nice fixe price meal for four.  No smoking overlooking the street.

Barb has a cold, but hung in there all day.  After lunch, she finally ran out of steam.  I picked up pictures and walked around the lake, before going back to the room.  We watched a movie, the first one we have seen while we have been here. I hope Barb feels better on Thursday.  

--- Bob

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"To love another is to see the face of God."

Today students in our first regularly scheduled class had some kind of testing that resulted in a free period for us.  We spent it exploring the library on the fifth floor - a sparse room with most texts being soft-cover teaching materials - very few children's books.  We concluded that period taking official school photos with the faculty.

Our one class, a first-grade classroom, was spent going over fruit identification, and practicing prepositions.  Students seemed to be tripped up saying/enunciating "next to."

Team 17 spent an hour touring the ancient Literature Temple, then concluded our evening with dinner across the street from the temple at KOTO, a restaurant that strives to assist Hanoi's disadvantaged youth.

Some discussion throughout the day included proposing that future visits to Nguyen Binh Khiem International School by Global Volunteers could involve suggesting the team consider bringing with them a contemporary new book that would interest primary or high school students - in English or Vietnamese.

-- David

Monday, March 12, 2012

"What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand."

Today I would call a typical Monday.  Got to school on time to wait for an assembly to finish.  Second hour, we went to the wrong room, but got that figured out.  Third period went fine, but the WI-FI was down so the teacher did not have her YouTube videos to play.  The volunteers had to cover the planned "sing-a-long"....  Lunch and then a break and then afternoon classes.  We were informed that the English teachers had a meeting and we would need to teach without their help. Before lunch, we were given the lesson plan and workbook for 6th hour.  But fourth and fifth was a combined class of 1st graders.  David walked in early and got the directions. He did a great job on the fly.  But after over an hour, the homeroom teacher bailed us out with a numbers game.  Sixth hour we talked about making sandwiches with the kids.  It seemed to go well.  Back at the hotel and then dinner at Highway 4 Restaurant.  Nice place.  I liked the veggies and duck.  Good night!

- Bob